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Black Lives Matter movement gains momentum in Chandler following church vandalism, theft
Arizona Daily Sun ^ | November 25, 2015 | Becca Smouse

Posted on 11/25/2015 2:48:45 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife

CHANDLER - A pastor was hoping to start a community conversation on racial equality when he and his predominantly white congregation installed a sign supporting the Black Lives Matter movement outside their Chandler church. Among the first people they heard from were vandals, who altered and then stole the sign.

"(Congregation members) were sad, but not resigned," said the Rev. Andy Burnette of the Valley Unitarian Universalists. "To see that it's still controversial to say black lives matter saddened some of those folks."

A "Black Lives Matter" banner was hung in early November with more than 100 signatures from members of the congregation and the community showing their support, Burnette said. A few days later, the banner and the church were vandalized with signs that read "All Lives Matter."

A member of the congregation removed the signs to return the banner to its original state. Shortly after, the banner was then spray painted with the word "All" covering the word "Black."

Burnette said though he was prepared for the vandalism, the crime left the congregation with heavy hearts.

And then the sign was stolen over the weekend of November 20. The banner was cut off of the three poles it hung from in front of the church. The congregation reported the theft to the Chandler Police Department. Stealing property from a church can result in felony charges.

Representatives from Unitarian Universalist congregations around the nation met earlier this year and agreed to support the "Black Lives Matter" movement. Each congregation was encouraged to show their support publicly. Burnette said the Chandler congregation, along with several others around the country, purchased banners to hang on their property.

He said similar resistance has been seen at churches across the nation.

"We know it's hard to hear, that black lives matter, but it's hard to hear that because we have in our country so often behaved as if they don't matter," Burnette said.

The Black Lives Matter movement arose following national attention when George Zimmerman was acquitted in the 2012 killing of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. It has gained strength in the following years through high profile cases in Missouri, New York, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio and South Carolina.

Burnette said the reason the congregation hung the banner in the first place was to signify to the community that the church is safe place to discuss this movement.

"It's complicated for us because we are a mostly white denomination," Burnette said. "We look for allies and people to work with and look for people of color in our congregation to lead us in these efforts."

Beverly McCormick, who is a member of the Unitarian Universalist congregation in Chandler, oversees the Black Lives Matter Program for the church. She is also one of the few African American members of the congregation.

"What I hope to achieve is awareness because, in my heart, I believe the people have good intentions," McCormick said of the movement. "They are just afraid and fear comes from not knowing."

Facilitating conversations about African American culture helps break stereotypes and educates the public, McCormick said. She aims to continue these conversations through events she hosts for the church, including a movie series that highlights films with racial injustice themes. A discussion on social injustice and racial inequality follows the film. [emphasis added]

"We've been so separated because we haven't had the opportunity to get to know each other and to learn that we are all just human beings walking around in this human being skin, but underneath it all it's all the same stuff," McCormick said.

Though the congregation is supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, Burnette said this does not mean individuals of other ethnic background matter less. He said the black community needs public support to help them reach equality.

"The subtext of the statement black lives matter is probably black lives matter, though often we've treated them as if they don't," Burnette said. "And then to say all lives matter somehow negates the need to focus on black lives."

Donald Harris, president of NAACP Maricopa County Chapter, agrees. He said the movement isn't to diminish the value of life of other races, a message often misconstrued by the "Black Lives Matter" phrase.

"People are upset because they think we are trying to put a certain group of people, the black community, over and above the white community and the rest of the community," Harris said. "That's not true."

Harris said the goal is to make "another step forward in the fight for civil rights". He said he also hopes the movement will change the relationship between police and the black community, which has often been characterized by high tension and fear.

"We are not the enemy of the police," Harris said. "We want to work with the police, but the police have to work with us also."

Tempe police commander Noah Johnson said he has worked with the church in support of the cause. Johnson was invited to speak to the congregation to discuss the perspective of law enforcement in this movement.

"Here's the deal: Law enforcement gets seen as this faceless piece of government," Johnson said. "They don't realize there is a beating human heart that's out there doing the job of law enforcement."

Johnson said the solution to break the stereotype of law enforcement is complex, but one of the first steps is facilitating open communication between law enforcement and the community.

"In these interactions, people can ask questions and it becomes an understanding on both sides," Johnson said. "That's the communication piece that is missing."

Rev. Burnette said a new banner has been printed and will be hung in front of the church soon. He said he and the rest of the congregation hope to continue this conversation across the Valley.

"I hope our congregation can lead that, perhaps in the East Valley, can lead that conversation about making sure that not just in theory and not just in our hearts, but actually in practice and policy that black lives matter," he said.

McCormick said she was unphased by the vandalized sign. She said this gives the congregation an opportunity to spread their message within the community.

"We are just going to put another banner up and we will keep putting up banners until people finally calm down," McCormick said.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; US: Arizona
KEYWORDS: activism; blacklivesmatter; blm; racism; thenogodgod; unitarians
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I wonder where Eric Holder is these days.

The BLM/Hands Up Don't Shoot movement was created to divide not to unite.

Unitarian Universalists - Advancing justice and human rights - "UUSC advances human rights through grassroots collaboration. In more than a dozen countries throughout the world, UUSC fosters social justice and works toward a world free from oppression. UUSC's innovative approaches and measurable impact - in promoting economic justice, bolstering environmental justice, and protecting rights at risk - are grounded in the belief that all people have inherent power, dignity, and rights."

1 posted on 11/25/2015 2:48:46 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Until they find out it was black dudes, then the media disappears

2 posted on 11/25/2015 2:52:12 AM PST by ronnie raygun
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To: ronnie raygun

You don’t compromise or negotiate with terrorists and don’t expect them to respect you if you bow to their demands. All they will do is see it as weakness because they are evil. Some people never learn. If they studied their bible they would develop discernment and wisdom and understand this.

3 posted on 11/25/2015 3:04:16 AM PST by jsanders2001
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Oh good grief Pastor, by singling out “Black Lives Matter” from “All Lives Matter”. You are contributing to the racial divide, and as clergy that is a shame.

4 posted on 11/25/2015 3:04:24 AM PST by FreedomGuru (Oil is as organic as Tofu and daffodils.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

How does a “black lives matter” sign promote racial harmony? How about an “all lives matter” sign?

5 posted on 11/25/2015 3:06:15 AM PST by grania
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To: ronnie raygun

Just now noticed it was one of those Unitarian (gay) churches. I think I might understand why they might not be taken as seriously by #BLM as to their sincerity.

6 posted on 11/25/2015 3:13:02 AM PST by jsanders2001
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Johnson said the solution to break the stereotype of law enforcement is complex, but one of the first steps is facilitating open communication between law enforcement and the community.

There are only two possible solutions for this type of problem;

1. Teach your children to stop running around like hoodlums, marry their mothers, and stay home with them,


2. The police totally evacuate your communities and let you police yourselves.

Having said that, there used to be black communities, as well as white, who could do a very good job of policing themselves. Now, not so much.
7 posted on 11/25/2015 3:20:17 AM PST by wbarmy (I chose to be a sheepdog once I saw what happens to the sheep.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Ah yes, the lefties doing their white guilt mea culpa and wondering why others don’t buy it.

I hardly call overwriting BLM with ALL constitutes ‘vandalism’ but then I don’t have the PC red that the UUs do

8 posted on 11/25/2015 3:31:45 AM PST by Nifster (I see puppy dogs in the clouds)
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To: Nifster

David Horowitz, June 2000: “.......New Left progressives-including Hillary Clinton and her comrade, Acting Deputy Attorney General Bill Lann Lee-were involved in supporting, or protecting or making excuses for violent anti-American radicals abroad like the Vietcong and anti-American criminals at home like the Black Panthers. We did this then-just as progressives still do now-in the name of “social justice” and a dialectical world-view that made this deception appear ethical and the fantasy seem possible.

As a student of the left, Jamie Glazov, has observed in an article about the middle-class defenders of recently captured Seventies terrorist Kathy Soliah: “if you can successfully camouflage your own pathology and hatred with a concern for the ‘poor’ and the ‘downtrodden,’ then there will always be a ‘progressive’ milieu to support and defend you.” Huey Newton, George Jackson, Bernadine Dohrn, Sylvia Baraldini, Rubin Carter, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Rigoberta Menchu and innumerable others have all discovered this principle in the course of their criminal careers.

There is a superficial sense, of course, in which we were civil rights and peace activists-and that is certainly the way I would have described myself at the time, particularly if I were speaking to a non-left audience. It is certainly the way Mrs. Clinton and my former comrades in the left refer to themselves and their pasts in similar contexts today.

But they are lying. (And when they defend racial preferences now-a principle they denounced as “racist” then-even they must know it)...........

And that is why they hate conservatives. They hate you because you are killers of their dream. Because you are defenders of a Constitution that thwarts their cause. They hate you because your “reactionary” commitment to individual rights, to a single standard and to a neutral and limited state obstructs their progressive designs. They hate you because you are believers in property and its rights as the cornerstones of prosperity and human freedom; because you do not see the market economy as a mere instrument for acquiring personal wealth and political war chests, to be overcome in the end by bureaucratic schemes.

Conservatives who think progressives are misinformed idealists will forever be blind-sided by the malice of the left-by the cynicism of those who pride themselves on principle, by the viciousness of those who champion sensitivity, by the intolerance of those who call themselves liberal, and by the ruthless disregard for the well-being of the downtrodden by those who preen themselves as social saints.

Conservatives are caught by surprise because they see progressives as merely misguided, when in fact they are fundamentally misdirected. They are the messianists of a religious faith. But it is a false faith and a self-serving religion. Since the redeemed future that justifies their existence and rationalizes their hypocrisy can never be realized, what really motivates progressives is a modern idolatry: their limitless passion for the continuance of Them.”

9 posted on 11/25/2015 3:48:08 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: jsanders2001

“Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion characterized by a “free and responsible search for truth and meaning”.

Unitarian Universalists do not share a creed but are unified by their shared search for spiritual growth. As such, the Unitarian Universalist Church (UU) includes many agnostics, theists, and atheists among its membership.

The roots of UU are in liberal Christianity, specifically Unitarianism and Universalism.

Unitarian Universalists state that from these traditions comes a deep regard for intellectual freedom and inclusive love, so that congregations and members seek inspiration and derive insight from all major world religions.”..

10 posted on 11/25/2015 3:52:42 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Some animals are more equal than others.

Back to work horse!

11 posted on 11/25/2015 3:56:01 AM PST by rawcatslyentist (Genesis 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed,)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Still a “gay”

12 posted on 11/25/2015 4:02:32 AM PST by jsanders2001
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Unitarian Universalist congregations

Designated a Christian cult. Highly liberal politics.

13 posted on 11/25/2015 4:10:35 AM PST by Lady Heron
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To: rawcatslyentist

“.....For these self-appointed social redeemers, the goal-”social justice”-is not about rectifying particular injustices, which would be practical and modest, and therefore conservative. Their crusade is about rectifying injustice in the very order of things.

“Social Justice” for them is about a world reborn, a world in which prejudice and violence are absent, in which everyone is equal and equally advantaged and without fundamentally conflicting desires.

It is a world that could only come into being through a re-structuring of human nature and of society itself.......”

14 posted on 11/25/2015 4:18:34 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Lady Heron

“...The title of Clinton’s thesis was “There Is Only the Fight: An Analysis of the Alinsky Model.” In this title she had identified the single most important Alinsky contribution to the radical cause - his embrace of political nihilism. An SDS radical once wrote, “The issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution.” In other words, the cause of a political action - whether civil rights or women’s rights - is never the real cause; women, blacks and other “victims” are only instruments in the larger cause, which is power. Battles over rights and other issues, according to Alinsky, should never be seen as more than occasions to advance the real agenda, which is the accumulation of power and resources in radical hands. Power is the all-consuming goal of Alinsky’s politics..” - David Horowitz

15 posted on 11/25/2015 4:24:04 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

“White lives don’t matter!”
“Asian lives don’t matter!”
“Hispanic lives don’t matter!”
“Indian lives don’t matter!”
“Eskimo lives don’t matter!”

16 posted on 11/25/2015 4:25:19 AM PST by jughandle (Big words anger me, keep talking.)
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To: jughandle

POWER matters.

17 posted on 11/25/2015 4:31:33 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Lady Heron

I suspect they wouldn’t object to being called a cult, but many of them would probably object to being called Christian. “That’s too exclusive!”

18 posted on 11/25/2015 4:36:15 AM PST by Aloysius88 (I used to be the different drummer. Now I'm indifferent.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

WTF is “African American culture”, and why is it soooooooo important that I learn about it?

19 posted on 11/25/2015 4:37:51 AM PST by cincinnati65
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Did the church put it to a vote? Was there any discussion as the pure racist slogan blm? Did members object by saying “all lives matter” but were derided by members of their own community? I have no sympathy for this “church”.

20 posted on 11/25/2015 4:47:27 AM PST by raybbr (Obamacare needs a deatha panel)
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